Before Jackie drove me to Donna-Marie in Poulner for my very occasional haircut, I walked the Bull Lane/Trusty Servant loop.
A knotted mass of mossy tree roots in the strip of forest alongside Upper Drive always has me wondering whether Celtic designers, all those centuries ago, had gained their inspiration from similar natural phenomena.
At the bottom of Running Hill the narrow road forms a bridge over one of the streams that gives it its name. There is no street lighting in the lanes of Minstead, which is why those of the Trusty Servant Inn are such a welcome sight when coming off the A337 after dark. Our neighbour Ari tells us that he strapped reflectors onto the railings of the narrow bridge as a warning to drivers after one steered his vehicle into the metal posts and was killed instantly. It is rather a sad coincidence that there was a fatal accident on the A337 at about the time I walked across the bridge and thought of this public service of Ari’s.
From the hairdresser’s Jackie went on to Sainsbury’s in Ringwood. I walked there after the cut, and arrived just as she was emerging from the shop. On the way back we called in to In-Excess garden centre for birdfood. No doubt because the weather is changing, this establishment was packed and the car park like a fairground dodgems. I went inside alone and left Jackie manouevring. Once having entered the quite extensive parking area it was very difficult to get back out.
I can’t tell you much about ‘Derrick through the ages’ picture number 15a. In Elizabeth’s slide show it doesn’t even warrant its own number, rather like a modern house that’s been built in a piece of garden donated, for a no doubt enormous nominal fee, by the owners of a Victorian mansion next door. Maybe that’s where it was taken. On a late twentieth century balcony. Mind you, the background doesn’t look much like something erected in the nineteenth century. From the look of me, the picture was taken in the early twenty first century. I look pretty relaxed, so it was probably taken by someone I was happy to be with. I sprouted my current beard about three years ago, so it was before then. It’s no good going by the clothes, because I’ve had them all ages. The specs are some kind of clue because it must be seven or eight years since I wore that pair. Elizabeth tells me I removed the print from one of my own albums for inclusion in one she made for Mum’s eightieth birthday. That narrows it down a bit more. It must have been at least eleven years ago. So, dear photographer, if you are reading this, please make yourself known, and fill in the missing details.
I read a little more of Henri Troyat’s novel ‘Grandeur Nature’ which I began a day or two ago.
Whilst eating our dinner of Jackie’s chilli con carne followed by Sainsbury’s treacle sponge pudding, accompanied, in my case only, by Estevez reserva cabernet sauvignon carmenere 2011, we watched the rapidly changing skies without leaving the dining table. Clouds ranging from various shades of ochre, to pink, and to indigo moved across clear blue ethereal patches; and the evening sun streamed across the garden picking up the freshly burgeoning leaves on the forest trees. As we watched, we became aware of a shower of rain. ‘There should be a rainbow somewhere’, said Jackie. And, suddenly, transiently, there it was.